In the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to 4 convicts. The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar granted bail to four convicts— Umeshbhai Bharwad, Rajkumar, Harshad and Prakashbhai Rathod— on the grounds that their appeal is pending and will take time for disposal. According to the reports, on February 28, 2002, at least 97 people were killed in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya area when a mob attacked a locality and killed them.

Last year, the Gujarat High Court had convicted 4 accused in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case and today the Supreme Court granted bail to Umeshbhai Bharwad, Rajkumar, Harshad and Prakashbhai Rathod. The Gujarat High Court had earlier also convicted Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi but acquitted former BJP minister Maya Kodnani. Supreme Court Judge Justice AM Khanwilkar has also expressed serious doubts over the conviction of 3 accused.

The Supreme Court noted that the Gujarat High Court’s decision was primarily dependent on the identification of the convicts by police officials, but in some cases, the similar procedure was not followed.